Fitness instructor, Scott Laider is often told by his clients or readers that they simply do not have enough time to train. While he concedes that finding an hour a day three or four times a week for exercise can be difficult, he maintains ‘there is always time to train. It’s really just a question of how important it is to you.’
It goes without saying that walking for 10 minutes a day isn’t going to help your fitness much, so we need to look at high intensity work. Tabata drills are a good option.
Originally devised for martial artists in Japan to shed fat stores, these involve short, sharp bouts of action – normally 8 sets of 20 seconds, with just ten seconds rest between each set. That gives us enough time for two drills in ten minutes.
The great thing about Tabata drills – apart from their time-efficient nature, of course – is that they normally only use your own body weight for resistance, so you can do them anywhere.
Good examples are reverse lunges, mountain climbers & bent arm to straight arm planks.
For the purposes of our 10-minute workout, however, we want to use the movement that absolutely maximises the spike in metabolism that exercise creates. For this, Laider recommends:
The kettlebell swing – a fantastic exercise that helps generate power, burn fat, increase aerobic capacity and enhance muscular endurance; and The burpee – an exercise that tests your heart and lungs to the max (make sure to pace yourself carefully).
‘To gain muscle with just ten minutes workout time is quite a task, Laider admits. ‘But it can be done, with a little help from a type of exercise that is known as static contraction training.’
This form of resistance training involves holding a weight far heavier than you would generally use at the strongest point of the lift for a period of 5-10 seconds. For example, if you normally lift 50kg for 3×8 when doing military presses, you would increase the load to 80 or 90kgs.
It works by recruiting more muscles fibres than normal weight training, consequently sending a signal to the brain warning it that new muscle must be grown to better handle the scenario.
Static contraction training typically consists of 2 workout days per week, with 5 exercises per workout and just one static hold of 5-10 seconds per exercise. So, it’s completely feasible that you could perfor upm your entire workout in just ten minutes.
Be sure to select the maximum weight you can hold and aim for progression each time you train. Laider concludes, ‘For safety measures, you may want to consider starting with fixed machines as I suggest in the workout below, or find a gym partner who can spot you.’